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Thomas Jefferson church services

Updated on April 9, 2012

Thomas Jefferson church services

Many people today argue about the "separation of church and state." We see the Ten Commandments taken out of schools and not being posted in government buildings. People are complaining about the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Others complain that "In God We Trust" is on our money.

There are many arguments that can be made to prove that the United States was founded on Christian principals. Upon doing some research, I discovered, what in my opinion, is the most compelling argument to keep Christianity in government buildings.

There is no question that Thomas Jefferson was one of the founders of our country. He wrote the Declaration of Independence and had influence on the writing of the Constitution. When Thomas Jefferson became President in 1801, most, if not all, of the founding fathers were still alive. If Jefferson was going to do something against what was intended by the Constitution, some of them would have spoken up. I discovered the following information at http://www.loc.gov

On Sundays in Washington during the administration of Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) the state became the church. Within a year of his inauguration, Jefferson began attending church services in the House of Representatives. Worship services in the House (a practice that continued until after the Civil War) were acceptable to Jefferson because they were nondiscriminatory and voluntary. Preachers of every Protestant denomination appeared including Catholic priests who began officiating in 1826. In January 1806 a female evangelist, Dorothy Ripley, delivered a camp meeting-style exhortation in the House to Jefferson and a "crowded audience." Throughout his administration Jefferson permitted church services in executive government buildings. The Gospel was also preached in the Supreme Court chambers and yet today there are complaints that the 10 commandments are being shown in courts. Not to mention that nativity scenes are being forbidden on government property.

None of the founding fathers said anything about Jefferson as well as other Presidents conducting church services in government buildings. It is obvious that what the founders were talking about was simply keeping the government from running religions. They still expected religions (namely Christianity) to influence the people who were elected to government offices .

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    • Art West profile image
      Author

      Art West 8 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks for the comment Bibowen!

    • Bibowen profile image

      William R Bowen Jr 8 years ago

      Thanks for providing this information. I first became aware of this after reading Daniel Driesbach's book Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation between Church and State in which he talks about how government buildings were used to house Christian services. Best wishes.....

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